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Survey Finds That Parents Who Support Marijuana Legalization Expect Strict Regulation of Its Availability to Kids

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New Survey Finds That Parents Who Support Marijuana Legalization Expect Strict Regulation of Its Availability to Kids

 ~ A Majority of Parents Say Legal Age for Marijuana Use Should be 21, Smoking Pot in Public Places Should be Prohibited ~

A nationally representative survey released by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids confirms that parents who support legalization of marijuana expect strict regulation of the substance’s availability to kids and teens. While 40 percent of adults say they are in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, a majority of them oppose any form of legal marijuana for use among kids and teens. They believe that, like alcohol, it should only be legal for adults over the age of 21. The online study also found that despite shifting attitudes in support of marijuana legalization, the risks of marijuana – especially to young people – is a relevant topic that is of concern to parents and caregivers.

“The reality is that marijuana is now legalized for recreational use in the states of Colorado and Washington and it’s clear that society’s views on marijuana are evolving dramatically,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “This research provides richer insight into what today’s parents believe about marijuana, their thoughts on legalization and the risks it may pose to adolescents. The data bring to life the fact that parents – including the large number who favor legalization – have serious expectations that legal marijuana will be regulated and restricted to protect kids and teens. Those expectations far exceed how legal marijuana is being implemented. So the fact remains, whether marijuana is legal or not, much more needs to be done to protect the health of our children.”

Survey Data Confirms Cultural Shifts, More Positive Attitudes Toward Marijuana Use 

According to the survey data, support within the general population of adults for medicalization, decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is approximately 70 percent, 50 percent and 40 percent, respectively, and only slightly lower among parents. The study found that support for each of these scenarios increased by anywhere from three to 11 percentage points when survey respondents were given specific definitions for medicalization, decriminalization and legalization of marijuana:

 

  •  Medicinal marijuana refers to marijuana being made available through licensed medical centers only to individuals who have a doctor’s recommendation to possess and use marijuana to treat a medical condition.

 

  • Decriminalization of marijuana refers to changing laws so that those caught with marijuana would receive a warning or fine (much like a speeding ticket), but would not face jail time.

 

  •  Legalization of marijuana refers to changing laws so that anyone over a certain age would be permitted to possess, buy, sell and use marijuana for recreational purposes within the limits of the law (much like alcohol).

Parents Who Have Used Marijuana in Past Want Legal Pot Heavily Regulated

Roughly half of all parents surveyed report having used marijuana before. The number is somewhat higher (62 percent) for parents living in Colorado. The survey also found that:

 

  • Increasing tolerance does not mean support for a “laissez faire” attitude toward marijuana – even in Colorado and Washington State. Fully 90 percent of parents in those states believe that “marijuana should be sold only through licensed growers / sellers and not in places like convenience stores, grocery stores or newsstands.”

 

  • Similar proportions of parents say that marijuana use should be prohibited in public places where tobacco smoking is now banned (92 percent of Colorado parents, 96 percent of Washington State parents agree).

 

  • A majority of parents surveyed agree that it should be illegal to provide marijuana to underage children at home (90 percent of Colorado parents, 91 percent of Washington State parents agree).

 

  • Over 80 percent of parents (87 percent of Colorado parents) believe “marijuana advertising should still be banned.”

 

  • Interestingly, when forced to choose, a majority of parents identify the number one place where it should be permissible to advertise marijuana as “nowhere.”

 

“What is especially notable is the extremely high level of support for a wide array of strict marijuana regulations to protect children after legalization,” said Scott Kotchko, pollster and Vice President of Whitman Insight Strategies, who fielded the survey. “Many of these people voted to legalize marijuana in Colorado or Washington – and are very clearly telling us that they expect authorities to put a comprehensive regulatory system in place. This kind of intensity of conviction tells us that people aren’t just saying that these kinds of regulations are a ‘good idea’ – they’re demanding them. Lawmakers in Colorado, Washington, or anywhere else where legalization may soon be a reality would be well served to listen.”

The survey data show that the risks of marijuana use of greatest concern to parents are the developmental consequences for teens, and the potential impact on their children’s futures. In Colorado, 85 percent of parents agreed that marijuana can have strong negative consequences on the still-developing brains of teenagers, and 85 percent agree that marijuana use at a young age can hurt performance in school and impact a young person’s future.

“Increasing availability, mass marketing and wider use of marijuana is a public health issue because of the genuine risks that marijuana poses to children’s health and development,” said Pasierb. “Clearly these changes mean that parents and caregivers have an even more critical role to play to ensure that the readily available marijuana in these states does not result in higher levels of use by and problems among their children and young teens.”

Survey Methodology

the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids collaborated with Batten & Company, a subsidiary of advertising agency BBDO Worldwide, which enlisted independent researcher, Whitman Insight Strategies to field the online survey of 1,603 adults in early March of 2013. Of the 1,603 adults surveyed, 1,200 were parents of children ages 10-19. Of these 1,200 parents, 200 reside in Colorado and 200 reside in Washington State, allowing researchers to analyze parent attitudes in these states, where marijuana was legalized in November 2012.

 

56 Responses to this article

  1. Lee / February 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

    For a visualization, we came up with a graphical poster about Teens and pot smoking STATISTICS. The real danger to teens, of course, is structural changes to the brain that long term use can cause when pot smoking is initiated in adolescence. As a former daily smoker of weed, I really feel that pot has the ability to alter both perception and motivation…for the worse!

  2. Avatar of Bo
    Bo / February 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    LivinginNH.

    It won’t be a crime for long!

  3. Avatar of LivinginNH
    LivinginNH / January 28, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Having just left an apartment complex we shared with “users” I have to say that I am still against pot usage. Our neighbors pot smoke (foul skunk weed) flooded our adjoining apartment. We don’t think people who share buildings should be subjected to pot or cigarette smoke. If you choose to use, it is not a “Victimless” crime. Some can walk away from it, some are mellow but it is a crime never the less.

  4. Avatar of john5651
    john5651 / January 23, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    i smoked pot for 42 years and i never had any problems with it and i quit smoking it about 8 months ago. my friends all still smoke it in front of me but i don’t have any problem with not smoking it still. i wouldn’t really say it’s addictive either. i just quit one day and i didn’t have any cold sweats or headaches or cravings or any other kind of problems.

  5. Danielson / January 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Marijuana is not addictive, people with addictive personalty get addicted to Marijuana. New researched now say that Marijuana is not a gateway drug, witch mean that it does not make u want to get a higher high witch leads to use of stronger drugs. This research also states that Cigarettes are the gateway drug.

  6. Avatar of Amber Marko
    Amber Marko / January 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Everybody thinks they’re an expert. Anybody who works with addicts knows what marijuana does to people and to say it causes no health effects is absurd. People who become sober off marijuana would be able to tell you what those effects are. This whole issue is so frustrating. Glad I’m working in addiction because there will be no shortage of jobs.

  7. Avatar of Carol Findlay
    Carol Findlay / September 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    It is IMPOSSIBLE to responsibly do an irresponsible thing. These druggie parents are doing this drug WITH their kids. Where did you get these addled results? A bunch of druggies trying to play ‘responsible voter’ for everyone else? The druggies don’t want to allow its use in public?? THEN WHO WERE ALL THOSE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ADDICTS TAKING OVER DENVER LAST APRIL???? To smoke it in public!!

  8. Avatar of Michael Morrello
    Michael Morrello / July 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

    The problem is not whether marijuana is a safe drug or not but whether our approach to drugs is working or failing. The number of fatal overdoses from 1999 to 2012 have almost increased 4 times. Obviously, we are failing. It is time for a completely new approach.

  9. Avatar of afather
    afather / July 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Drugs are always gonna be a part of society, you can’t keep it out of prison, so eradicating it from society even one ran like a prison would’t get the job done. Even chopping heads off as they do in Saudi Arabia doesn’t work,(they still have to keep chopping heads off)so use of force or penalization to affect behavior in use of this substance simply does not work, it is already here(for thousands of years), and it is something that kids can get very easily (because of its illegality). Say your child uses it and gets caught, do you want your child’s mistake or problem solved with the criminal justice system? No, because it is an education and heath issue, a different strategy obviously must be employed. Now education is important, it isn’t harmless it is less harmful and the greatest potential of harm, the scariest stuff of the drug is primarily for teens whose minds are still growing, so if my son says “it is relatively safe, safer than the other stuff” and I’ll say “YEA! BUT FOR ADULTS, you numbskull and you shouldn’t do the other stuff yet either!”. What parents have to be careful of and what I’ll have to keep in mind when educating my son is not using scare tactics or use of misinformation about the substance to get my desired goal of abstinence because then I’ve lost his trust, especially if he has already tried it. I admit it will take more work than that and more reading, but I’m willing! If he has made a mistake and used it as a teen while his mind is still developing then I’d at least prefer he wasn’t going to get it from dealers who might throw in something else for free to get him hooked, or he ingests some chemicals/mites/mold from illegally grown stuff. Don’t you worry I’ll figure out he’s using I don’t need it to be illegal to help me parent, and I’ll educate him that responsible, adult, moderate use is o.k and just like he has to wait to get a tattoo(something safe), or do something harmful like alcohol it’ll be when he’s an adult and has full sovereignty over his life and body “not under my watch,” he has to wait for this and say no, not because of fear of the demon weed but because the mind is growing and weed is psychoactive (same reasoning I’ll give for caffeine another psychoactive substance abused by kids)and to not fall into peer pressure, in good time he can do it if he wants, I’ll always want him to practice moderation something America in general must learn (about everything), maybe because we were taught puritanically not effectively or rationally. I’m not going to sit back, spew wrong information and hope he’s too stupid to see through it, I have too much respect for him.

  10. Shanna / July 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Marijuana is a drug. People use drugs to numb themselves from their realities and pain.

    I would only believe in medical marijuana when it is prescribed by a doctor and distributed at the local pharmacy, not a drug dealer shop front. Put it in a pill only sell it to those who are medically suffering….no more $100 medical cards (what a joke).

  11. Avatar of Legalize Marijuana
    Legalize Marijuana / July 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Likе аnу substance, marijuana саn bе abused. Thе mоѕt common problem attributed tо marijuana iѕ frequent overuse, whiсh саn induce lethargic behaviour, but dоеѕ nоt саuѕе ѕеriоuѕ health problems. Marijuana саn саuѕе short-term memory loss, but оnlу whilе undеr thе influence. Marijuana dоеѕ nоt impair long-term memory. Marijuana dоеѕ nоt lead tо harder drugs.

  12. Avatar of jeff
    jeff / July 18, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I am a proud parent of 2, A homeowner,A hard working American, and A responsible member of society with no criminal charges other than traffic violations. I wasn’t a part of this poll and I support legalization of marijuana for recreational use with penalties for public use and operating vehicles under the influence not to mention underage use.I Think the best way to keep it from the kids is to regulate it. Prohibition does not solve this.. If ID was required and legal age is 21 I see no problems serious waste of resources just ask L.E.A.P (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) or NORML. IF you feel as I do contact your local or state officials and tell them to put an end to prohibition

  13. CJ / July 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious.

    -Mark Twain

  14. Avatar of Superman
    Superman / July 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Alcohol causes more deaths than THC

  15. Avatar of Mauro
    Mauro / July 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    There is a LOT of misinformation in these posts. Legalizing marijuana will not increase underage usage, especially if regulated like alcohol. Legal or not, kids and adults can find whatever they want on the streets, at parks, campuses, parties, festivals, clubs, parents, anywhere.

    Legalizing marijuana destroys the black market import. “Street weed” will not be cheaper or more easily accessible, Ann. What research are you referring to? I’ve only heard the opposite, including this:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/drugs_cause_most_harm

    And that’s considering “black market” harm…

    What’s cheaper: a plant that came from your neighbors backyard or a plant that was smuggled in by a cartel who’s murdered hundreds of innocent migrants and terrorizes a nation with a strong grasp on our very own government and economy? How many cigarette or alcohol ‘underage dealers’ have you heard of?

    This is nonsense. These are emotional, irrational, puritan rants. Lifting the veil off of an underground industry allows for a cleaner, safer, more transparent, and more self disciplined industry. And, might I add, a CA$H COW.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you guys were anti-gay marriage too. Probably a bad influence on the kids..

    That’s my rant and stab. Thank you. :-)

  16. Avatar of Esong Rudolf
    Esong Rudolf / July 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Marijuana can be very dangerouse for teens, especially if control is not firm.

  17. Avatar of Karla Thomas
    Karla Thomas / July 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I disagree with your statement, and the name calling was quite unnecessary. Are you a sober person, meaning no drugs or alcohol of any kind? This includes cigarettes, cough syrup, prescription medications, cigars, etc.. if you consume any of these aside from refraining from marijuana, then you are uninformed, which makes you appear ignorant.

    The economy actually could use legalized marijuana, as a taxable income to tax. As long as it is controlled and sold in a separate store from groceries, gas stations, and the like.. (basically to prevent crimes and theft and put employees at risk while on the job). It would help pay off the enormous money the Unites States as a whole, has accquired.

    Perhaps a little more understanding on your part would allow you to see some of the benefits this could bring to our Country. This is not just about getting a buzz.. and it seems to me that is what you are thinking about it, but who am I to assume what you are thinking?

  18. Avatar of Mar
    Mar / July 17, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Legalizing Marijuana for medical purposes, absolutely agree.
    Legalizing Marijuana for recreational purposes,
    absolutely disagree. We don’t need to get hooked on any substance that takes away our freedom to part away from it.

  19. Avatar of BigJohn
    BigJohn / July 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Jeff, surely you know that marijuana is already easily available everywhere and cheaper than beer on a per use basis. According to government survey data over half of all American adults under 65 have smoked it. According to this survey here over half of all parents have smoked it. Over half of all kids growing up today will end up smoking it too, and unless we legalize it they’ll be buying it from drug dealers who will offer them far worse drugs.

    I don’t smoke pot. It’s a stupid waste of time. It is most definitely not harmless. But, it is too popular to ban, and while it’s not harmless it causes nowhere near the problems that drugs like meth or Oxycontin or even alcohol cause. I’m a lawyer in court all the time. I’ve handled literally thousands of criminal cases. I’ve prosecuted and defended. Alcohol is behind most violent crime and super addictive drugs like meth and heroin and prescription pain killers are behind probably most thefts and forgeries and that sort of case. We see a few pot DWI cases, but mainly marijuana related crime is only crime because marijuana is illegal.

    We’re blowing a fortune enforcing our pot laws, enriching organized crime, and actually making it easier to reach people with their really bad drugs. Liquor store clerks don’t offer customers meth. The police would be there in no time. Drug dealers often sell multiple illegal drugs and many will sell to minors and nobody ever called the cops and said, “my pot dealer offered me cocaine.”

    It’s dumb to keep trying in vain to prohibit marijuana. We need to regulate this industry. It will be a good thing for this country, not because pot is good but because we’re doing far more harm than good with our pot laws.

    Most everybody who wants to smoke it is already smoking it. You know that, Jeff. For the most part people will get a slap on the wrist if they get caught and the odds of getting caught are pretty slim if people are just little careful. We aren’t deterring many people at all, obviously. We have some of the highest pot use rates in the world in this country and their are a lot of places now where it’s practically legal. Use you brain here, Jeff. It makes sense to legalize it and regulate it. You don’t have to smoke it. It makes no sense to keep trying in vain with this ban that has never diminished the supply or demand.

  20. Ann Stoker / July 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    So if made legally available it will only be available for over 21 year olds from licensed outlets…….so the dealers will continue to sell the stuff and will be able to concentrate their sales to those under the age of 21. For adults they will simply undercut the official price. The whole idea of ‘regulating’ sales is a nonsense – we cannot keep alcohol and tobacco from the under 21′s so what is the point of legalizing a third addictive substance ? More and more research shows that marijuana is not a harmless substance – whatever Tina and other pot users think. If parents want to protect their children from possible damage to health (especially mental health) they should be promoting prevention of use not legalisation…..and voting for legalising the drug for themselves in the vain hope that ‘they’ should protect their children is the ultimate selfishness. Wake up American parents – it is your job to keep your children safe not the job of the government ..and remember children learn from example – you cannot say ‘do as I say not as I do’ and expect them to comply.
    Adaptable Ann (UK)

  21. Avatar of Norm Richardson
    Norm Richardson / July 16, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Marijuana legally available to our youth will destroy the motivation of our youth with dire consequences on employment and productivity. Marijuana is addictive and causes cancer so why legalize it?

  22. Avatar of Freddie Preston
    Freddie Preston / July 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Since we haven’t done a good job of keeping under 21 people from alcohol, what makes us think we can do a good job of keeping Marijuana out of the hands of those under 21? Also many states are using the age of 18 to legally have Marijuana, that is a receipe for disaster for our young people.

  23. Avatar of roger mattson
    roger mattson / July 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    When and if this Marijuana disaster takes place. It will be just like it was with alcohol they can set all the rules they want but they won’t be followed. The government just want to make the parents feel good and think they are doing their part, yes an age limit can be set but it won’t be followed as parents let their kind smoke it.

  24. Avatar of Tina
    Tina / July 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I don’t think so Jeff! Cigarettes are dangerous and marijuana is not. Educate yourself about marijuana!

  25. Avatar of Jeff Ibitz
    Jeff Ibitz / July 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I’m A Recovering Addict I Know The Disease Of ADDICTION You Can’t Educate Me About Marijuana That Was My Drug Of Choice Beginning In 1976!

  26. Avatar of susan
    susan / September 12, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I have been told that Marijuana is not addictive. I am wondering, then, since my son is smoking 3-5 times a day if there is an addiction problem. My son calls me crazy for being concerned but it is excessive in my eyes.

  27. Doug / July 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Jeff, it sounds like you think you know what is best for everyone on the planet. I think your choice of words “you can’t educate me” speaks volumes. Prohibition is based on the failed notion that a substance is evil. I prefer to believe that adults have control over and responsibility for what we choose to put in our own bodies. Believe it or not there are different outcomes to marijuana use than your own personal story. Peace.

  28. Avatar of Danielson
    Danielson / January 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    How was you addicted to marijuana? This most likely means that you have an addictive personality and that any drug or things that gets you “high” you would most likely get addicted to. I don’t think marijuana is a drug as much as I don’t think cigarettes are drugs, both plants both can be smoked.

  29. Doug / July 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Roger, it sounds like you would rather the criminals, cops and politicians continue to get rich under the current failed system. Many of us parents will not let our children smoke pot when it is legal for us to do so any more than we let them drink just because it is legal for adults.

  30. BigJohn / July 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Roger, was our failed experiment with alcohol prohibition not a disaster? It did reduce alcohol consumption at first, but by the end of that 13 years we had almost as many drinking before. We had the same financial and societal cots from alcohol abuse, plus the enormous financial and societal costs of a failed prohibition of a drug that was too popular to ban. That ban was doing far more harm than good.

    We’re in the same boat with pot. Like alcohol it’s too popular to ban. As has been the case for decades now over half of all young people growing up today will end up smoking pot. It’s everywhere, cheap and super easy to obtain. According to government surveys more older teens smoke pot than tobacco now. According to this survey over half of parents have smoked it and according to federal data over half of all American adults under 65 have smoked it. The market for it is mature and saturated. There’s no putting a dent in the supply or demand. Most everyone who wants to smoke it is already smoking it.

    Yes, it causes some problems, but those problems will exist whether it’s legal or not. Just as was the case with alcohol prohibition, this particular prohibition stops nothing. This prohibition costs a fortune and causes every problem caused by alcohol prohibition and more. At least the Al Capone types back then weren’t offering their customers drugs like meth along with the booze. We need to regulate this entirely unregulated market and separate it from the black market for illegal drugs, shrinking that black market by several orders of magnitude and limiting pot smokers’ exposure to the far worse drugs.

  31. Avatar of Pam
    Pam / August 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Roger,
    Would you feel safe if the Government just set up a giant daycare for all U.S. citizens to reside in? To read what you are saying is to embrace the notion that the government should make all choices for all Americans based on the premise that no American can think or make positive choices for themselves or their children regardless of laws! This kind of mentality is extremely dangerous to free Americans who do jusr fine thank you running our own lives and raising our own children. When we actually harm you with our choices then you may complain. Common sense and freedom go hand in hand. You cannot judge all people by the choices of some or the bad parenting of a few. Prohibition does not work. Controlling peoples lives and personal choices is not freedom. Expecting your government to parent for you is not responsible. No law will ever take the place of just good old fashioned common sense, personal responsibility, and open honest parenting with fact based information and truth for your children. When the rest of America wakes up and realizes this we truly will have an opportunity to help those who really need it and leave those who do not alone and stay out of other peoples personal business.

  32. Doug / July 16, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Mr. Pasierb: If you had seen the ridiculous regulation of medical marijuana in Colorado up close as I have, you might choose words other than “readily available.” That amount of state oversight could end drunk driving and prescription drug abuse if it were focused on the things that actually kill large numbers of Coloradoans. Instead, legislators are all hot and bothered about a plant so anyone who grows or sells marijuana for a dispensary has to do so on camera. Imagine if we had analogous “seed to sale” tracking for alcohol and narcotics! Colorado would actually be safer instead of just having more bureaucracy!

  33. Pam / August 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    The recipe for disaster for our young people is parents who believe a law with an age limit on it will be the magic barrier for their child to not experience drugs or alcohol. While prohibition is worse for young people because it puts popular substances like cannabis in the hands of street peddlers who do not care if they promote it to kids, at least regulated industry will follow the law and abide by age limits. The best defense for young people is responsible parents who educate, communicate and give fact based information to their teens. And if you are a parent that is aware of substance abuse and addiction in your family tree you have an extra duty to educate and not live in denial about the potential of addiction for your child. And the good news concerning cannabis is unlike alcohol and other drugs cannabis is not physiologically addictive!

  34. Avatar of Judy
    Judy / September 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

    If the legal system knew about all the citizens in this country that have smoked pot in their lifetimes, who are law abiding, productive, tax paying people, than more than half of American would have a criminal record. It saddens me that there is so much hypocrisy when those same people, who probably smoked a joint or two or more in their past, would still continue to think that it is productive to to criminalize our youth and destroy their future over a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol and all the other legal substances dispensed on the market today. I grew up during the 60′s and made my share of stupid teenage decisions when it comes to experimenting with drugs. I grew up and grew out of it, as most people do. I am a responsible worker and parent. I shutter to think of how my life would have turned out to be if I was every caught and prosecuted. It is wrong to turn these teenagers into criminals and destroy their futures. I would bet that many of the cops and judges have tried a joint or two in their pasts as well. It’s a lose/lose scenario for America to continue down this path.

  35. Doug / July 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Norm, it is NOT “legally available to our youth!”

  36. ChuckL / July 17, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Kids now can get marijuana easier than alcohol because the state regulates alcohol sales but drug dealers because of prohibition control access to marijuana. You deceive yourself by thinking prohibition is the answer but the real answer is regulation just like with cigarettes and alcohol. Well meaning people like you helped create this problem by leaving kids at the mercy of sketchy dealers. Think about it.

  37. Avatar of James
    James / July 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Norm, i am sure you are just another victim of misinformation. The carcinogens associated with cancer in cigarette smoke are not found in the smoke of marijuana. Therefore the user and bystanders are safe from cancer worries. There is also no physical dependence associated with cannabis. Many users keep smoking because they like it, just like many computer users love to use their computer everyday. You wouldn’t say they were addicted to surfing the web, they merely like playing on the internet. The only way to truly get this whole prohibition thing right is to educate all.

  38. Doug / July 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    hi Ann. Until we have a perfect system there is good evidence that tax rises and ID checks DO reduce youth access to alcohol and tobacco. Sadly, there are “adults” who are all too happy to buy (or sell) kids drugs like alcohol and tobacco to make a buck or because they are unable to fit into the adult world. Maybe we should focus on those criminals rather than making more by perpetuating the failed war on drugs. Prohibition of marijuana (like it did for alcohol almost a century ago) creates and fuels armed gangs who have a lethal motive to protect their profits. Apparently the USA is not a fast learner collectively speaking. It also puts around a million (mostly minority) Americans in jail or prison. “Just Say No” is a failed policy and there is no such thing as a harmless substance.

  39. Avatar of ChuckL
    ChuckL / July 17, 2013 at 1:38 am

    How many black market alcohol sellers do you see being arrested? Or cigarettes? Approximately zero. Why? Those substances are legal and regulated. Kids have more access to marijuana now because its a black market drug. Well meaning people have abandoned their responsibility by letting drug dealers control access rather than the state. You wont want to hear this but you are not the solution, you are the problem.

  40. Pam / August 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Congratulations Ann you got one point spot on, it is the parents job to educate and protect their children not the governments. The rest of what you said is another example of people who believe that their moral compass is the only one that matters and that all other free adults should be ruled by that. Ann that is not what freedom over our own hearts and minds is about. Adults should be free to make their own choices of what they put into their bodies. The only time a law should effect that is when one person’s choices infringe upon or violate the rights or property of another. As a parent who raised two well rounded kids I can say that you Ann are not the foremost expert on how parents should lead their children. Our children are individual developing humans separate from ourselves and each other. If parenting were as simple as do as I do and your child will be a perfect clone is delusional. Caring for and nurturing another human being is so much deeper. A parent who can guide and aid a child through self discovery and self worth and self identity through open communication, tolerance, love, and honesty has the ability to give fact based information, and instill the constitutional meaning of their rights and freedom is the biggest truth you can provide. Each families experience and lives is their very own to be directed by them, their belief system, their values, their political and social view, world view, is their own. And the freedom to practice that and promote it is guaranteed. When you are an integral part of your child’s world you can protect them best and they trust you most.

  41. Robert Delaney / August 17, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Ann, I think you may have watched “Reefer Madness” a few too many times. It’s almost 80 years later, and science knows marijuana is non-toxic, and doesn’t represent danger to “mental health”. Read something written within the last decade, leave the 30s behind.

  42. Robin / July 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Doug, I have never met any successful person say. I am successful because I use marijuana. You don’t have to have a personal experience to see the damage that marijuana has done to society. I am so done with users trying to justify their drug use. THC has been available by pill or by suppository for years. A real MD can perscribe it for you if you have a real need. I think it is time for a review of the doctors handing out cards for $50.

  43. Chuckl / July 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Enlighten me. How exactly has marijuana harmed society? How many people are hospitalized because they use marijuana? Alcohol is a factor in many crimes. Heroin and meth, too. But marijuana is almost never involved in the commission of any crime. Nearly 90% of all marijuana arrests nationwide are for possession and not for selling or growing. In Texas its 97%. so how does society benefit from incarcerating otherwise law abiding citizens for possessing a substance deemed less harmful than legal cigarettes and alcohol and quite possibly therapeutic medically?

  44. Avatar of CJ
    CJ / July 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Robin, the contradictions of society such as how alcohol, being a potentially lethal poison, is legal to adults and can be privately purchased in any quantity by adults where they can go out and drink themselves silly within the confines of the law, while a substance that has been clinically proven to be impossible to Over Dose on and also clinically proven to be non addictive is illegal is a extremely dangerous and costly situation. There are zero recorded deaths due to THC in history. I was once in the same belief about it that you are in but after research and the realization that this prohibition is a massive failure much like the alcohol prohibition of the twenties and it has only created and empowered a criminal underground market for drug peddlers that do not care about the age of their customers, unlike licensed shop keepers who check I.D.. I changed my mind on the subject once I realized that I have been lied to about marijuana and angered that I was. I implore you to do your own research and forget everything you “know” about the plant. As far as the pharmaceuticals go, I would choose a natural substance over a synthetic chemical created in a lab that have far worse side effects than its natural counter part any day of the week, a plant that grows out of the ground. But by far the most disturbing thing that I read in your comment is that age old logical fallacy that says any one group or person can dictate how others live their lives according to whatever moral reasoning they have. If someone wants to smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own home then they should have the right to do so. In fact anyone should be allowed to do what they want to as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. That is what this great nation was founded on. Also, the kinds of “smokers” you might be picturing as the burnt out hippies is also far from the truth. All kinds of people from all walks of life now use this for recreation such as teachers, doctors, lawyers, you name it. If you want to object to something truly dangerous, please object to alcohol and push for its criminalization, if history has taught you nothing.

  45. Robert Delaney / August 17, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Robin, if you’re informed well enough to know about THC in pill form, you might want to go back and reread the information. You’re off base.

  46. Avatar of Matthew
    Matthew / January 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Robin,
    Do you seriously think that suppositories are a reasonable replacement for good, normal people wanting to enjoy a relaxing smoke session every once in a while? Its ignorant people like you that cause things like cannabis being outlawed in the first place.

  47. Yuchmich / August 6, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Sorry this site’s interface is messed up in my Firefox window. I’ve been replying to the wrong people.

    I think you’re pretty well spoken on the issue and I am in complete agreement with you.

    Time to send this to every other person I inappropriately replied to as well . . .

  48. Pam / August 10, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Everything Big John say’s in this post is correct.
    There is also another element to cannabis prohibition Jeff that is very relevant and more than important.
    There is a political and corporate history behind cannabis prohibition that is very self serving.
    There is a thousands of years old history of the cannabis sativa plant that is positive and eco friendly. The world has been for the last 8 decades been robbed of the industrial and earth friendly uses of hemp and the healthy and nutritional benefit of cannabis.
    This plant is like natures gift to humans and the planet. Thanks to good science and research it was discovered in the human body its own endo cannabinoid system. this system in the human body regulates our health go figure, it is directly linked to our wellness. Cannabis is compatible to the human body hence its ability to work medically, naturally, and successfully. Who do you think is fighting so hard not to allow an alternative to pharmaceuticals, food, fuel, clothing, housing, all the things hemp and cannabis provide. Their is a corporate effort to keep misinformation out there and demonize this plant. Sadly enough this information is widely available and easy to find. Just because fox news or CNN are not leading the news with it does not mean the reality of this fact based information is not true.

  49. Yuchmich / August 6, 2013 at 1:49 am

    That’s all well and good, but none of those overdoses were from marijuana. That I can tell you!

  50. Avatar of Conservative American
    Conservative American / September 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Start the war on Alcohol Drinkers… they destroy more innocent American lives each year than all other terrorist groups combined.

  51. Pam / August 10, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Mauro
    Thank you for your rant it was pure truth and I think you pegged Ann.

  52. Pam / August 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Yes it does superman because there are no deaths from THC.

  53. Robert Delaney / August 17, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Esong, I don’t encourage anyone to use marijuana (unless they need it medically), especially teens, but please post ANY article which shows research indicating marijuana is “dangerous for teens”. Also note NO ONE is advocating for legal access for kids.

  54. Robert Delaney / August 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

    “people use drugs to numb themselves from pain.” Gee, I’ve got to go back to medical school, I missed that.

  55. Avatar of Miss Melissa
    Miss Melissa / September 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Seems like Ann should read John Locke, Second Treatise on Government.

  56. Matthew / January 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Amber,
    Your comment is pretty misleading. I have personally used cannabis multiple times every day for months at a time and then quit cold turkey one day because I decided it was too expensive. The only “effects” that i experienced were slightly reduced appetite for one day (obviously from lack of munchies) and having a bit of trouble going to sleep (again only for the first day, and again obviously because weed is an amazing sleep aid). You made it sound like legalizing weed will fill up drug treatment centers or something. Unless people cant deal with a few hours less sleep I can assure you this wont be the case.

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